Cows join the Internet

Call them moo-bile devices.

John Church, of Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, is set to reveal an udderly technological step forward in agricultural tech: 'Smart cows.'

“We’re moving cows into the Internet of Things,” said Church, who was invited to participate in the 'Game of Drones' panel session during the sold out #BCTECH Summit.

The summit takes place Tuesday and Wednesday at the Vancouver Convention Centre, and Church will have his research on display in the Future of Food exhibit.

“We can find cattle on the range through the use of the drone and the RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tag, but what we can’t do is get that data to stream online in real time," said Church, who is the regional chair in cattle industry sustainability.

"Now, our new drone has a SIM card built in, so we have the potential to track cattle in real time using a cell network and a GPS enabled RFID tag."

The tech could also allow ranchers to perceive threats to the animals – such as predators – by adding an accelerometer to the RFID tag.

“We’re discovering new uses for combining these technologies all the time,” he said.

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